On the 12th December, mentor Phil Jeffes stopped by George Stephenson High School for the second day of #TICEInsight Computer Science. Students made their way into the classroom, computer screens at the ready, slightly apprehensive of the day ahead. But not for long!

The morning kicked off with a Computer Science overview and where the TICE programme can take these students, either now or in the near future. Phil shared his own journey into the industry, expanding on the challenges he faces which was certainly useful and realistic for the students to hear. Whilst also expressing how passionate he is about his field, he encouraged the students to explore the range of pathways available in this creative sector – a world of many possibilities. Through Phil’s contacts and experience, these students can use this to their advantage, particularly once they begin looking at higher education/employment.

Phil then gave a how-to on the animation/games creation software, Scratch. What was different for the students, was the ability to be completely free and expressive when creating their game. This resulted in some wonderfully creative ideas, one being a version of ‘Breakout’ and another was a very complex maze game (both featured in the screenshots). The innovative quality, that is so important to have in the creative industries was truly evident amongst this class – very impressive to see this early on in the TICE Programme.

After a well-deserved break, Phil gave a brief introduction to HTML and CSS which are essentially the languages of the web, heavily used by professional software developers and computer science elites. To follow up on this brand new technique, Phil shared the primary brief of designing a web page using JSBin.com. Once again, Phil was blown away by the imagination that these students had – a lot of the websites were biographies of other students or celebrities. One was even about a Llama and many others followed a similar surreal theme!

For George Stephenson, their main goal was to tackle problem solving – something which is required in any aspect of the working world. Through building websites and games galore, the students seemed to take such a complex task with such ease and independence. They didn’t rely on adult supervision and instead, had patience and belief in their ability to achieve something truly impressive. The students ended the day with smiles and pride, many feeling fully revved up to continue their TICE journey. A huge well done to these students, and we can’t wait to see some of you on the Explore Stage!